This Is Why You Don’t Need Adobe Reader
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Adobe Reader isn’t just unnecessary – it has a history of being an application you wouldn’t want on your system. From being extremely heavy and slow to having a long series of security flaws, Adobe Reader has never been a very good application for the average user. Adobe Reader’s speed and security have improved recently Adobe Reader X Adds Protected Mode for Windows Users, Android Gets New Features [News] Adobe Reader X Adds Protected Mode for Windows Users, Android Gets New Features [News] Read More , but they haven’t improved enough.

You probably don’t need Adobe Acrobat Reader installed at all. In 2017, it is highly likely your browser or operating system (OS) already has built-in PDF support.

A few people will appreciate some of Adobe Reader’s lesser-used features, such as the ability to digitally sign documents. However, Adobe Reader arguably has too many features. Features like allowing PDFs to run JavaScript code have unsurprisingly led to security holes in the past, and it’s clear that most people would be better off with a faster, minimal, more secure PDF reader.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome has an integrated PDF viewer. It has been bundled with Google Chrome since 2010. It makes opening online PDFs extremely quick, loading directly in your browser. Unfortunately, Chrome’s PDF viewer doesn’t have many features. Or rather, it has basically none, unless rotating your PDFs is an absolute necessity.

This Is Why You Don't Need Adobe Reader Google Chrome PDF Viewer

However, it is fast. Additionally, Google Chrome is now the most popular browser around the globe, so there is a good chance you already have it installed. Google Chrome can function as your default local PDF viewer, too. Right-click your PDF, and select Properties. Select Change, followed by Google Chrome. Then select Apply.

This Is Why You Don't Need Adobe Reader Select Default PDF Viewer

Please note that this process is the same for Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or any other PDF viewer you’d like to use as default.

Firefox

Like Google Chrome, Firefox has an integrated PDF viewer. In fact, Mozilla has bundled a PDF viewer since Firefox 19 – we’re now using Firefox 51. Who said Mozilla isn’t innovative?! Despite being eons ahead of Google Chrome, Firefox’s PDF viewer offers an equally minute number of features.

This Is Why You Don't Need Adobe Reader Firefox PDF Viewer

Firefox’s PDF viewer actually isn’t a browser plug-in at all. It’s written in JavaScript, the same scripting language used by web pages in your browser. This means that Firefox’s PDF viewer is fully sandboxed the same way web pages are, which gives you additional security benefits. When you use a plug-in like Adobe Acrobat, your browser’s built-in security doesn’t necessarily apply – you’re relying on the plug-in’s developers instead.

Windows

Microsoft didn’t introduce an integrated PDF reader until Windows 8. Reader is still available for Windows 10, but it is a Modern app. And there is another option. Let’s take a quick look at both.

Reader

Reader is no longer bundled with your Windows installation. However, it is fast, free, and can display two pages at a time. Reader opens your PDFs within your native Windows environment, without a browser. Other than that, Reader offers the same functionality as Chrome and Firefox.

This Is Why You Don't Need Adobe Reader Microsoft Reader Modern App

Microsoft Edge

Windows 10’s native browser 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Switch to Microsoft Edge Yet 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Switch to Microsoft Edge Yet Is Microsoft Edge worth using while Chrome, Firefox, and Opera are still around? Is Edge good enough to be your primary browser? Read More also comes with an integrated PDF viewer. PDFs viewed while using Microsoft Edge will automatically open within the browser window, rather than opting for an external application (unless you have dictated otherwise).

In terms of features, Microsoft Edge toes the browser PDF viewer line and offers very little. Furthermore, the much-vaunted annotation feature How to Stay Productive With Microsoft Edge How to Stay Productive With Microsoft Edge Microsoft Edge some great productivity features. From built-in tools to time-saving extensions, here are just a few than can help you stay productive. Read More doesn’t work with PDFs, which is a little odd. However, it is a somewhat handy addition for those who have made Microsoft Edge their browser of choice.

This Is Why You Don't Need Adobe Reader Microsoft Edge PDF Viewer

Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android

We take for granted that Adobe Reader isn’t required on other OSs. Mac users have Preview 4 Best Free Mac Preview Alternatives for Reading PDFs 4 Best Free Mac Preview Alternatives for Reading PDFs If you're looking for a free Preview replacement for your PDF reading habit, here are the best free options out there. Read More . Linux distributions come bundled with Okular or Evince, 7 Best Linux PDF Viewers -- And Adobe Reader Is Just One Of Them 7 Best Linux PDF Viewers -- And Adobe Reader Is Just One Of Them PDF is the filetype of choice for many forms of information on the internet. Linux hasn't always had the best support for PDF, however, times have changed. Let's look at your options! Read More depending on the environment.

Android has a built-in PDF viewer, as do iPhones and iPads. While Adobe Reader is available for all of these OSs, there isn’t really a need to download and use it. Furthermore, there are better options available for each OS.

This Is Why You Don't Need Adobe Reader Android PDF Viewer

Alternative PDF Readers for Windows

We have covered a great many PDF viewers PDF Reader vs. Browser: Which PDF Viewer Is Best for You? PDF Reader vs. Browser: Which PDF Viewer Is Best for You? A PDF reader is often one of the first tools people install on their new computer. It's not glamorous or sexy, but it's a vital tool in your productivity arsenal. Or is it? Read More and converters in recent years. Foxit Reader, Sumatra PDF, and Nitro Reader all offer well-featured free versions that should suffice for most users. They’re usually faster and more lightweight than Adobe Reader, too, losing some less-used features in favor of speed.

Alternative PDF readers have all-but closed the gap to Adobe, with many free options still offering once-premium features How To Use Gmail & Google Docs Instead of Adobe Reader How To Use Gmail & Google Docs Instead of Adobe Reader Read More , such as document signing. The majority of PDFs are just documents we can view — that was the original point of a PDF, after all. With that in mind, the majority of people will find the above solutions will offer a better experience.

As well as this, alternative PDF readers are also often more secure 6 Light Alternatives to Open Office & PDF Files 6 Light Alternatives to Open Office & PDF Files Don't clog your system down with superfluous bulk. For the occasional viewing of PDF and Office files, you can use compact apps and you might not need any additional software at all. Read More , as security vulnerabilities found in Adobe Reader generally don’t affect these other PDF readers. Adobe Reader’s additional features add up to a bigger target for attackers to exploit.

What’s Your View?

We’ve looked at exactly why you don’t really need Adobe Reader or Acrobat any more. Also, we’ve outlined why it is no longer necessary to introduce an extra plugin to your browser. As the majority of modern browsers now feature PDF support, the majority of people can eradicate that potential security vulnerability.

What’s your favorite PDF viewer? Do you stick with the default viewer for your operating system? Or do you prefer an alternative? Let us know your thoughts below!

Image Credit: ESB Professional via Shutterstock.com

Originally written by Chris Hoffman on 25 March, 2013.

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  1. Nsumaii
    September 7, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Yes, I agreed. With Window 10 I believe we do not need to have Adobe Reader. Also, I am so frustrated with the way Adobe just charge to your credit without notify the customer of the charge.

    • Dee gee
      October 21, 2017 at 11:59 am

      After trying out many readers I settled with xodo. Does all editing, highlighting, marking, etc. Small footprint.

  2. mehdi
    July 22, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    Sometimes we don't want to hear the loud noise of the fan because of browsers high usage of CPU. Need to just cross out the instance of the browser. Any pdf reader use a very low amount of CPU and do the job. Having a integrated pdf is also a great help while online, so every time there is an online pdf to read , no need to download it and go for the offline reader. Thanks for your article , so many people do not know about those integrated options of modern browser.

  3. Watcher
    March 18, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    That's why I use Adobe Acrobat Professional at home and at my company. It does what other PDF programs just can't do!

    • Gavin Phillips
      March 18, 2017 at 1:17 pm

      That's a very good point. For some people there just isn't an alternative that can do all of the jobs.

  4. Bob
    February 4, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    I use Sumatra PDF since years without any problem. Recommended. :)

  5. HuSSaM
    February 3, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    It banned in Syria and I easily get it from another source then uninstall it and never used again

    • Ersan
      August 25, 2017 at 6:27 am

      Is there any internet in Syria

  6. Richard Allen
    February 2, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    I've always used Adobe Reader and can't remember ever having a problem with performance, right now it pretty much opens instantly. I also wait to upgrade to the newest version until the one I'm on quits receiving security updates, still using Adobe Reader XI. The only problem I can think of is Adobe Reader preview handler and thumbnails not working properly but I fixed that years ago with 'Adobe Reader 64-bit fixes' by Leo Davidson/Pretentious Name. Haven't decided yet but once Reader XI no longer gets security updates I might upgrade to the Reader DC classic track, still up in the air on that.

    One thing I wonder about, can javascript be disabled when using browser based PDF viewers? I've always had javascript disabled in Adobe Reader without any problems when viewing PDF's. Is javascript in PDF files still a security concern? Reason I ask is that in the past both Chrome and FF have had security issues with their PDF viewer and I've always wondered if that was javascript related. Just curious. I've never had the PDF viewer enabled in any browser.

    • Gavin Phillips
      March 18, 2017 at 1:26 pm

      Hey Richard.

      Thanks for the comment. I do agree that many people have a perfectly acceptable time with Adobe Reader. I would contend that there are better options for more casual users, but you've already read that!

      JS PDF attacks are still a thing, but browsers are vastly more secure than they used to be. Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, and even MS Edge *should* catch and isolate malicious activity. However, I'm not 100% on that.

  7. German
    February 2, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    PDF-Xchange for me is the best. Very lightweight and functional.

    • Gavin Phillips
      March 18, 2017 at 1:27 pm

      Thanks, I'll give that a try.

  8. Rob
    February 2, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    IF you need to edit a PDF acrobat is still required. I have not found a freeby that will edit a PDF.

  9. Tyler
    February 2, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Have played with Adobe, PDF-XChange, and Foxit for years and recently found Sumatra PDF and love it! Small, fast, and does exactly what I need and no more.

  10. Bharadwaj. S
    October 9, 2016 at 4:56 am

    Windows 8.1

    Did not install Adobe reader

    Trying to go with Chrome permanently

    pdf files got chrome icon as well.

  11. Sean Bassingale
    January 16, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    If I wanted to use Windows crap and windows-related crap I would by an inferior piece of electronic trash forever known as PC's.

  12. Vasilis
    June 27, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    I use Foxit Reader as my primary PDF viewer (on both of my PC -which is super fast- and my old laptop). I like the toolbar on the bottom that appears when you pass the cursor over, and the quality is pretty decent while reading a document. I also use Chrome for online PDFs, and the default Adobe Reader app on my android smartphone.

  13. Tom Steenhuysen
    May 2, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    ok. This is getting ridiculous Adobe ... The automatic installation to upgrade Acrobat Reader XI is almost HALF A GIG!

    I had to take a screenshot ... https://www.dropbox.com/s/yl8bketgyo8t4ah/Adobe%20Reader%20Upgrade%20is%20almost%20half%20a%20GIG.png

    Adobe, what in heaven's name are you putting into this?

    • crd8321
      April 12, 2015 at 9:52 am

      Their heart and souls. ( and a good amount of incompetence).

    • D Sandoval
      May 27, 2015 at 2:58 am

      LOL!

  14. yudics
    April 6, 2013 at 1:47 am

    Not agree, i like adobe reader, its free, and easy to use

  15. Santosh
    April 4, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    On Windows, Foxit Reader is also a good alternative. It is light and having good number of features.

  16. null
    April 4, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Adobe reader has gotten really bloated.

  17. Frank Woodman
    April 2, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    I agree 100% Adobe reader has grown too big and too unsafe to use. I use Foxxit reader and love it. And now I don't have all the issues with slow running and bloat that Adobe seems not to be able to fix. Remember you can try any third party free reader and see if you like it before you remove Adobe reader. But if you try and like a third party reader DO REMOVE adobe reader as it's a real resource hog your system will love you for dropping it.

  18. Matt Mar
    April 1, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Foxit.. Easy to use and beside that most of nowdays browsers have built-in pdf reader... :) So i dont even see reason to keep adobe reader on pc..

  19. Patsy Ashley
    April 1, 2013 at 6:48 am

    Thank you for this piece of information. I had no idea that this was the reason I have learned to dislike reader. This has been very informative.

  20. Bala Murugan.R vicky
    March 30, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    What do you guys think about Foxit Reader!!!
    i think it is AWESOME, in a usable way it has more support in changing and editing operations. Moreover its new tab feature gives good feel and larger icons helps in good usage of the reader, it is light, multi-tabs,secure and free. it is becoming popular among pdf readers. Especially better than adobe and its non-stop updates.
    What say...!!!!

  21. Ahsan Javed
    March 30, 2013 at 10:06 am

    So Technically U r Saying I was being Trolled By Adobe from 4 years

  22. Keith Swartz
    March 30, 2013 at 2:02 am

    I use PDF-XChange. Does the job MUCH BETTER than Adobe! Like the alternatives presented here. Good work Chris!

    • innuendo
      February 2, 2017 at 7:16 pm

      I'm using it too and it can display pdf thumbnails in explorer as preview

  23. ashutosh raj
    March 29, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    i have experimented with many pdf readers like nitro , sumatra and many more after uninstalling adobe reader . but i love foxit for its speed and features :) .

  24. najeeb
    March 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    It is good to open PDF file direct on the screen.

  25. Edward Goldblatt
    March 29, 2013 at 3:26 am

    I use Adobe Acrobat Pro, both at work and at home, and frankly, as much as it pains me, the tool that was built to do the job does it. Adobe Reader always struck me as a "demo" version of Pro - intentionally slower, incapable of doing a million little things (but leaving the options in the menus!), and a few other issues. Sumatra is quick for just reading, as are a few of the other resource-light readers. But frankly, for what I need to do with PDFs (edit on the fly, occasionally create OCR-based text), I need the better tool.

  26. Michael Heffner
    March 29, 2013 at 1:36 am

    Adobe updater is satan's gaming software....

  27. nuncauno
    March 28, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    FoxIt reader does everything I need.

  28. Jignesh Solanki
    March 28, 2013 at 9:21 am

    I am convinced but adobe is my first choice because it offers more then any other readers. if not available definitely go for others. The most websites requires adobe reader only so first choose always adobe reader.

  29. Jignesh Solanki
    March 28, 2013 at 9:20 am

    I am convinced but adobe is my first choice. if not available definitely go for others. The most websites requires adobe reader only so first choose always adobe reader.

  30. Manish Parmar
    March 27, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    well, i use foxit reader,its fast n uses less ram.
    even chrome n firfox can be used as a pdf reader n we dnt nid to install a third party pdf reader.dat sounds great !!! well many of us dint know that...thanx a ton

  31. Réy Aétar
    March 27, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    adobe reader works fine for me its the best and didnot face any problems with it

  32. Abhijith R
    March 27, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Adobe Reader has only given me burdens. After my first use it sent my PC to BOD. And also its slow at startup.

  33. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    March 27, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Reader is slow and bloated and a space-waster. Settled with SumatraPDF which gets the work done without bell and whistles. I never like PDF reader with too many toolbars. It detracts me from actually reading.

  34. geekonweb
    March 27, 2013 at 6:33 am

    I uninstalled Adobe pdf reader 5 years ago and switched to Foxit reader. Now it is the time to remove that too. Google chrome is good enough to handle pdf related needs.

  35. fatihamzah
    March 27, 2013 at 4:57 am

    i think Its according your needs. If you just reading and use the basic tools for PDF, its okay. but there are many tools that just Adobe Reader have.

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      March 27, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      Yeah. For home users, there will be no need of Reader.

  36. Framton Goodman
    March 26, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    After reading this, I'll use Google Chrome!

  37. Sandra S
    March 26, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    I use Nitro (the freeware version) It supports digital signatures and more. I do keep the Adobe Reader installed and updated just in case I try to open something that Nitro can't handle, but that has been once, I think in several years.

  38. Carolyn
    March 26, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    The Firefox reader is actually more problematic for me -- it often fails to properly show PDFs (it lets me know though -- then I have to open it in Adobe Acrobat.

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      March 27, 2013 at 2:39 pm

      Have you tried Sumatra? It's lighter, though it doesn't have any feature other than letting you read PDF/EPUB/etc

  39. Josue Aguilar
    March 26, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    I use Foxit Reader. I works very good for me.

  40. dragonmouth
    March 26, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    I don't know whether to cry or celebrate. Adobe does not offer a Linux version of the Reader. I know, I will celebrate.

    Being a Linux user, I use Okular which is sufficient for my use.

  41. Sam
    March 26, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Thank You I just uninstall Adobe Reader after reading this it came on my new pc after all the good reviews from Foxit Reader I am installing the Foxit Reader

  42. Kippereast
    March 26, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    I use Adobe, as it is the only program with all the abilities I need in my business. I have experimented with other programs, as always end up back with Adobe. I send out a lot of PDF's for review and signature, and it is the easist to use for my clients. So I will continue to use it, while I do agree there are a lot of good options out there, just not for my business.
    It is like the "Zip" compression software, always used WinZip, until Windows integrated it in to Windows Explorer. Tried the Windows option, great for everyday use, but too many options I need are missing. So back to WinZip, as it is the familar Program and contains all I need.
    Excellent commentary.

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      March 27, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      I think that's it. It's needed only in business environment. For everyday PDF and ebook viewing, you don't need any of those features at all, thus negating the need of Adobe Reader.

  43. Zenphic
    March 26, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    PDF-XChange Viewer is my favourite PDF reader. It comes with a load of features for free, including highlighting and OCR. It also has a portable version and it works very well if you have a lot of RAM (it caches the PDF pages into the RAM for faster viewing).

  44. Brian Smith1
    March 26, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    I have used pdf Xchange viewer for some time. I find that it is much better and faster than Adobe

  45. Craig
    March 26, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    If you want to utilize USPS 'Click-N-Ship' label printing, you must have Adobe Reader installed. However, USPS has recently added the ability to download your label in PDF format instead of printing directly from the website, which would negate the need for the Adobe Reader requirement. However, I have found that when printing a PDF with many of these "third-party" PDF viewers, the rendering of the printed output is not nearly the quality that I get from Adobe Reader.

    I do use PDF-XChange Viewer Professional as my default viewer (as well as to create, edit, and manipulate PDF files) but must always revert to Adobe Reader when I require a high-quality printed output. I have found this issue to be the case when printing a PDF from the built-in viewers of Firefox and Google Chrome. NitroPDF and Foxit Reader also do not match Adobe Reader's font rendering, image color and quality output.

    As long as high quality printed PDF output is not required, your assertion that Adobe Reader is not required is correct. However, at least in a business situation, I would always have it installed if for no other reason than for the occasion of printing a label from any of the major shipping services, Avery Design-N-Print Online, or the admittedly rare need to print a hard copy of a PDF for legal or tax reasons. If you disable the unnecessary Adobe start-up services, Adobe Reader will consume no system resources until you actually need to use it.

  46. macwitty
    March 26, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Foxit Reader on an old Windows computer. On Mac, Preview is not bad but not very good either. For a light weighted reader on Mac I prefer Skim, http://skim-app.sourceforge.net/

  47. John Wallach
    March 26, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Thanks for the heads up. Just removed Adobe Reader from my computer.

  48. mordalo
    March 26, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Used to be, you could download a zipped version of Foxit, but they changed it, added crap I didn't need, and made it .exe only. After that, I switched to Sumatra.

  49. Choon Khai
    March 26, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    I used some other brand's PDF browser, it's definitely better and makes my PC run less application like background processes

  50. Dilip Roy
    March 26, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    It is needed when you read a document in computer other than browser.

  51. Bal Mukund Agrawal
    March 26, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    A very useful article...

  52. Alex Downs
    March 26, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    "Why You Don't Need Adobe Reader"? More like, why I never used Adobe Reader.

  53. Bruce W. Fowler
    March 26, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Actually, we do need Adobe reader, and in Linux. The reason: none of the available pdf readers do a good enough job of printing.

  54. abilitymatrix
    March 26, 2013 at 11:46 am

    As much as I dislike Adobe Reader you have to admit that it is the only reliable reader. I try not to use it but some docs simply do not show up correct in other readers (I have tried approximately 10-15 throughout the years). Accented characters, special fonts, presentations turned to pdf, mathematical expressions. That is sad as it really is a nasty beast when it comes to resources.

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      March 27, 2013 at 2:36 pm

      Funny. My Physics and Math textbooks shows up okay in Sumatra. I think that problem can be traced to how that PDF was made.

    • Oron Joffe
      March 28, 2013 at 2:23 pm

      Never had a problem with Foxit Reader. In fact, other than support for plug-ins (mostly for DRM'ed documents) I can't think of anything Foxit does less well than the Adobe product, and it is much smaller and faster!

  55. Steve Costello
    March 26, 2013 at 11:44 am

    I have been using Foxit Reader for years. Also Bullzip for my PDF printer app.
    Both are much faster and more secure.

  56. Schvenn Meister
    March 26, 2013 at 11:40 am
  57. Mart Kung
    March 26, 2013 at 11:38 am

    As linux user Evince and firefox built-in reader.

  58. null
    March 26, 2013 at 11:33 am

    I hate Adobe reader beacuse they freeze whenever i open any pdf

    • Dave
      March 26, 2013 at 12:00 pm

      get a decent pc then....Adobe has never ever caused me any issues security or speed. This sounds like yet another attempt to have a go at something perfectly harmless tat's been around for years and it's free!!!!!!!! Has there been any testing on the integrated so called pdf readers???? I doubt it, and they're probably more likely to cause a problem than Adobe!!!

      • Lisa Santika Onggrid
        March 27, 2013 at 2:35 pm

        No. Any alternative PDF readers I've used over the years caused exactly no problem at all, while Reader constantly froze when opening anything over a hundred pages.
        It's free, but it's definitely not harmless. Security holes are found every so often, and it eats more resource than a reader should.
        I completely disagree when you tell someone to upgrade their PC just to run a reader software. It's hardly necessary.

        • Dave
          March 27, 2013 at 5:27 pm

          Firstly I didn't suggest getting a decent pc to just read Adobe pdfs. What I really meant was that if your pc is struggling with something like Adobe reader, then you really could do with either someone checking your pc and or upgrading as all my pcs I have ever had (and I've built many) have never ever had trouble with Adobe reader. I just checked how many pages my current pc will load and how long, it was a car manual with 375 pages and loaded completely within less than 2 seconds. Now that's my experience with Adobe and I just did a search on the net to see if there are any posts like this, guess what not a single one. Please will sites like this stop rubishing perfectly good software!!!!!!!!!!

  59. Muz RC
    March 26, 2013 at 11:23 am

    adobe reader? kidding me last i used it at 2010, and after that i prefer use foxit reader because its light and fast, adobe reader for me is some kind of joke software with lot security issue and using so much memory and ram... XD

  60. Hawk
    March 26, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Foxit reader

  61. Scott M
    March 26, 2013 at 11:09 am

    I've used foxit reader for a few months now and find it works great.Not a problem.

  62. Arron Walker
    March 26, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Foxit, all the way

  63. Nevzat A
    March 26, 2013 at 7:20 am

    Just don't forget that Adobe Reader has lot more to offer than other PDF readers. Adobe's software is not just a dumb reader. It can even fill questionnaires in PDF's. It allows interactive content on PDF's. I've seen a demo of it some time ago by an Adobe specialist and I've even no idea it could do such things.

    • Guy McDowell
      March 26, 2013 at 11:24 am

      You make a good argument. Most people never make use of those options though, which is unfortunate as they would help alleviate a lot of business problems inexpensively.

      All in all, I think most people are just fine with the recommendations Chris is making though.

      • Nevzat A
        March 26, 2013 at 11:45 am

        I think some companies and enterprises use such technologies. Therefore we don't see them much around.

    • dragonmouth
      March 26, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      "Just don’t forget that Adobe Reader has lot more to offer than other PDF readers. "

      I agree. It does offer lot more security holes than other PDF readers. That alone makes it unfit for use, no matter what other features it might offer.

      • Nevzat A
        March 27, 2013 at 7:55 am

        more features lead to more bloat and security holes :)

    • Oron Joffe
      March 28, 2013 at 2:20 pm

      True, but Foxit Reader can be used to fill out forms and even to type over existing PDFs (great for those forms that were not designed to be interactive, i.e. you're supposed to print them out and fill them in by hand!).

  64. Junil Maharjan
    March 26, 2013 at 6:38 am

    This is true, adobe reader hugs too much space on computers. there are light weight alternatives and the above options are great.

  65. Todd Troutt
    March 26, 2013 at 5:55 am

    Love the new built-in reader in Firefox 19.

  66. bpcan
    March 26, 2013 at 5:31 am

    I have tried to use alternative PDF readers and in most cases I have done this successfully, but occasionally I will meet a web site that will insist that Adobe Reader be used to open the PDF file. Personally, I can usually work around that requirement, but I have users that would be quite frustrated if they had another reader installed. So I still put it on user machines, even though I really prefer PDF XChange reader. I also like Sumatra reader, but it tends to be light on features.

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      March 27, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      Quite the contrary, as I picked Sumatra as my primary reader because it doesn't have bell-and-whistles. Tried PDF X-Change before, but there are so many features and I don't like the busy toolbars.

  67. IsharJay
    March 26, 2013 at 4:52 am

    What about "Nitro Reader"? That's a great one too!

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      March 27, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      Yes. I have that as my secondary PDF reader, although if you just want to read the PDF (no annotations, no this-or-that) SumatraPDF does the job.

  68. Hugo
    March 26, 2013 at 4:42 am

    Foxit reader, hands down, the fastest and the safest pdf reader.

  69. Kirby
    March 26, 2013 at 4:08 am

    I'm using Adobe Reader because we're required by the company to install it on every workstation.

    Are there any security flaws for the other PDF readers? Or they're just as vulnerable?

    • Oron Joffe
      March 28, 2013 at 2:18 pm

      There are security vulnerabilities in pretty much *any* software. I use Foxit Reader and there have seen a number of security patches over the years. However, the number and seriousness of those is far less than in Adobe Reader.

      • Kirby
        April 1, 2013 at 3:34 am

        I see. Thanks for the info.

    • Edward Goldblatt
      March 29, 2013 at 3:28 am

      What the heck is the reason for that requirement? Can't the company do a bulk-license on Pro? That's what they did at my office; got like 50 licenses cheaper than 1 personal.

      • Kirby
        April 1, 2013 at 3:49 am

        When I installed the adobe reader app, it didn't require any licensing info so I think this app is free.

  70. Jeremy Garnett
    March 26, 2013 at 3:16 am

    I quite agree. I use Adobe at work only because it is there, but personally have used Foxit for years.

  71. kadek surya pranata
    March 26, 2013 at 12:51 am

    agree, adobe reader is just too much in using the ram... i prefer foxit reader, really fast and ram friendly...

  72. Chris Marcoe
    March 26, 2013 at 12:08 am

    So, we can jsut pull Adobe Reader off our comp if we use Firefox exclusively? sounds good to me!

    • Jake T
      March 26, 2013 at 12:42 pm

      I fully just did this after making Google Chrome my default PDF handler. :)

    • aaaaaaaa
      May 15, 2015 at 4:44 pm

      To fully ditch adobe reader in favor of Firefoxes built in PDF reader, this add-on is a must: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/open-in-browser/

      It lets you open every single pdf document in the browser, even those that normally force you to download them. This plugin is also very useful for things like opening .log or other non-.txt text files in browser.

  73. Nick Bruce
    March 26, 2013 at 12:03 am

    I never did like Adobe Reader. When Chrome added a PDF reader (with a reasonable interface) I was elated. Same with Firefox. Adobe Reader just isn't a good piece of software, yet their other products are so good.